Congress Won’t Legalize iGaming Soon, Vegas Analyst Predicts
April 16, 2009 (CAP Newswire) — In his popular weekly Inside Gaming column, Las Vegas Review-Journal writer Howard Stutz predicts that, despite the much-publicized promises of Barney Frank and the presence of a new, more iGaming-friendly presidential administration, the U.S. Congress isn’t likely to act on reversing the UIGEA anytime soon.
“Congress is tied up with other pressing issues,” he writes.
The main reason cited by Stutz is that Macquarie Securities gaming analyst Joel Simkins has told investors he doesn’t think legalization will happen soon. Simkins came to this conclusion after “checking with Washington, D.C., lobbyist contacts and casino company operators dialed into Capitol Hill,” relates Stutz.
"We see little reason for investors to try to play this near-term," Simkins was quoted in the article.
Even despite the fact that an estimated $20 to $25 billion is spent annually on online gambling, lawmakers simply aren’t concerned about the issue at this point, given the severity of the U.S. recession (and the media's preoccupation with that issue).
"Given the more pressing economic concerns of industries that currently employ considerably more potential voters than online gaming ever will, we think the odds are very slim that online gaming will be supported on Capitol Hill," Simkins was quoted.
Simkins does, however, predict that online gaming will eventually be legalized, most likely by an "intranet" gambling system on a state-by-state level.